Do plants power your day? How many serves of fruits and vegetables would you include on a daily basis? With the amount of processed and fast foods available it can be tempting to choose the quick option of nutrient-devoid packaged food. Fresh fruits and vegetables should always make up the majority of your diet, as they are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and are alkaline forming.
How can you boost your plant power? You can start with the following!
*Swap butter and margarine for avocado. Full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats as well as a good source of B vitamins and Vitamin E
*Don’t put up with boring salads. Mix them up with chopped roasted root vegetables, sundried tomatoes, chopped mint and coriander, olives, roasted cashews and tamari grilled pepitas
*Aim to eat at least 2 handfuls of dark leafy greens every day. They are a great source of iron, calcium and blood cleansing chlorophyll. Silverbeet, spinach, bok choy, kale and broccoli are excellent choices
*Top wholegrain toast with combinations such as tahini and tomato, avocado and tomato, and nut butter and banana
*Use vegetable crudités instead of crackers and crispbread. Carrot, celery, capsicum and zucchini go great with dips such as beetroot hommus, babaganoush or vegan raita. See Robyn Chuter from Empower Total Health's recipe for vegan raita here
*Snack on fresh fruit instead of biscuits and cake
*Grate zucchini, carrot and pumpkin into tomato based sauces to increase the fibre, flavour and nutritional benefits
*Add a variety of fresh chopped fruit to your cereal or muesli. Try fresh or frozen berries, chopped fresh dates, banana, grated apple or pear.
*Sweeten smoothies, porridge and muesli with fresh or dried fruits in place of refined sugars
*Buy a cold pressed juicer and start your morning with a fresh juice
You could try:
- Beetroot, celery, carrot and apple
- Watermelon, pineapple and beetroot
- Orange, apple and carrot
*Add a green smoothie every day
- Coconut water, kale, pear and banana
- Oat milk, banana, baby spinach and spirulina
- Mango, cucumber, lettuce, berries and water
*Green powders such as barley grass, wheat grass, spirulina and chlorella are an easy addition to your diet in replace of synthetic multivitamins. You can add these to smoothies or mix into fresh fruit and vegetable juices
*When eating vegetables, choose raw, steamed or lightly stir fried to avoid nutrient loss. When vegetables are boiled, it causes valuable nutrients to be leeched out into the water. Avoid this by using vegetables in wet cooking methods such as stews and soups, and roasting vegetables whole in their skin
*Remember to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of all colours of the rainbow, and choose seasonal and organic where available.
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